Greek Catholic tserkva of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (complex of tserkva buildings), currently serving as a parish church, Żmudź
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Greek Catholic tserkva of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (complex of tserkva buildings), currently serving as a parish church

Żmudź

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A valuable and rare example of a mid-18th century complex of wooden ecclesiastical buildings, consisting of the former Greek Catholic tserkva and the accompanying bell tower.

History

The tserkva was erected for the funds provided by Jan Jakub Zamoyski, the alderman (starosta) of Lublin and Rostock, becoming the centre of the new Greek Catholic parish, founded in 1753. In 1875, the tserkva was taken over by the Orthodox Church. From 1948 onwards, it serves as a filial church of the Roman Catholic parish in Klesztów; from 1975 onwards it has been an independent pastoral centre, with an autonomous parish being established in 1984.

The tserkva underwent comprehensive renovation works on a number of occasions - in 1841, when the narthex was either added or extended upwards, as well as in years 1878, 1888, 1930 and in the 1960s and 1970s. The bell tower, erected at the same time as the tserkva itself, was either restored or rebuilt in 1821.

In 2005, the original wood shingle roof cladding on the tserkva and the bell tower was reintroduced.

Description

The tserkva and the bell tower are located in the centre of the village.

The chancel of the tserkva faces westwards. The tserkva was designed on a tripartite floor plan consisting of the rectangular nave, the chancel, positioned north of the nave and featuring a semi-hexagonal termination, as well as the narthex. Both the chancel and the narthex are narrower than the nave, yet whereas the chancel matches the nave in height, the narthex is visibly lower. The entire tserkva is made of corner-notched pine logs and clad with weatherboards, with walls of the nave being reinforced by means of vertical supports. The sill plate supporting the entire structure is made of oak beams positioned on brick foundations. The interior features a flat ceiling. The roof structure consists of beam-and-rafter trusswork reinforced by collar beams and two rows of queen posts. The individual sections of the building are covered by separate gable roofs of varying height; the roof above the chancel features a three-sided termination and an elongated side slope designed to accommodate the sacristy. The roofs are covered with wood shingles; the only part of the roof where sheet metal is used instead is the steeple jutting from the roof ridge above the nave. The façades are clad with weatherboards abutting one another with no overlap, arranged in a board and batten layout; an arcaded frieze motif is replicated in wood under the eaves, while the lower section of the walls is designed to resemble a plinth. The windows are multi-panel and rectangular in shape, framed with wooden surrounds. Inside, the main altarpiece combines Baroque and folk motifs; the pipe organ gallery features a simple parapet and is supported by a pair of pillars.

The free-standing bell tower was designed as a two-storey building on a square floor plan. It is a post-and-beam structure clad with vertically arranged board and batten siding; the upper storey features bell chamber openings in all four walls and a tented roof clad with wood shingles.

Accessible historic building.

compiled by Bożena Stanek-Lebioda, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 30-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Sygowski P., Greko-katolicka cerkiew parafialna (ob. kościół rz.-kat) pw. Podwyższenia Krzyża Świętego w Żmudzi, woj. chełmskie. Monografia historyczno-architektoniczna, PP PKZ O/Lublin, Lublin 1988, typescript available at the archives of the National Heritage Board of Poland (branch office in Lublin).
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Vol. VIII: Województwo lubelskie, issue 5: Powiat chełmski, compiled by Kutrzebianka K., Smulikowska-Rowińska E., Warsaw 1968, pp. 68-69.  

General information

  • Type: tserkva
  • Chronology: 1753
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Żmudź
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district chełmski, commune Żmudź
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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